A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

"A taste of what I learned" ... rancid or not

First, thanks to Brett Clark's blog Education Dreamer for posting this video. Watch this video and then come back...I'll wait.

Welcome back ...

The program is called the Independent Project and it works like this:

Sort term questions--
Monday-Students begin by asking themselves: What is a question are you are curious about.
  • You spend the week exploring that question
  • The difference between this approach and a lot of other classwork is: "You actually want to know the answer."
Friday-You make a formal presentation on your findings. The week they filmed, the subjects included:
  • Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky
  • John Muir
  • Why a wing generated lift.
In addition to the weekly projects, there is Individual Endeavor-
Learn to do something you are interested in:
  • play an instrument
  • writing a book or collection of poems
  • research topics like education and environment
The expectation is there will be a mastery of skills

The last portion of the curriculum is Collective Endeavor, a group project designed to produce social impact and make a difference which also teaches collaboration skills

Some of the take aways from the video:
  • Allows them to become completely invested...not every human being through the same gate.
  • whats the role of the teacher...who decides good work? ... according to the  administrator
  • Their questions get me thinking ... said the science teacher.
  • Accommodates different types of leanings--strong and learning different
  • Freed to focus on their own curiosity--they work harder when its their own idea
  • Learning becomes a group activity--every day
I like the story of the student who studied Crime and Punishment but didn't feel mastery during ther presentation. Instead of filing it away and moving on ... he took another swing at until HE felt like he had a handle onf Dostoesky. Impressive.

The program is in its second test drive and it many are intrigued by the idea of spontaneous learning. It does raise some questions:
  • What can students teach themselves?
  • What is the role of the teacher?
This quote is from one the teachers they interviewed and he sums up my thoughts exactly.

"The the power of a young mind is pretty impressive...one they are so resilient, two they are extremely creative, three they are fearless, they will try everything. So, the qualities I think many many teenagers have go really well with the program; which would make sense since it was created by a teenager."

Something serenditious happened while I was writing this blog. Somehow (an I have no idea how it happened) but I inadvertently started playing the following video I posted a few days ago by Sir. Ken Robinson. Hmmmm...maybe the gods are conspiring....

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